The head of SNC-Lavalin says its role as a Canadian global champion will be undermined if the embattled engineering firm is barred from bidding on federal contracts and its local employees are forced to work for foreign competitors.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Neil Bruce said the Montreal-based company, unlike the Trudeau government, has never cited the protection of 9,000 Canadian jobs as a reason it should be granted a remediation agreement to avoid a criminal trial.
However, he said there’s a public interest for such an agreement, because its well-qualified employees will be forced to work for U.S. or European competitors if it is barred from bidding on federal contracts for a decade.
SNC-Lavalin faces accusations it paid bribes to get government business in Libya — a criminal case that has triggered a political storm and cost Prime Minister Justin Trudeau two cabinet ministers and his most trusted adviser.
Bruce said about 75 per cent of the company’s rivals have concluded deferred prosecution agreements in their host countries and are free to work in Canada.
Meanwhile, Bruce says he still doesn’t know why a federal official and former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould were not open to granting a remediation agreement.
This story originally appeared on CBC